More content is produced and shared now than at any other time in human history. Because the social sites allow the written word, video, and audio to be shared widely with no cost and little effort, you have more access to information, ideas, and opinions. Because the algorithms are designed to keep you on a platform for as long as possible to maximize the revenue from ad sales, the content you see isn’t randomly shown to you, but instead intentionally placed in front of you. If you want a powerful, indomitable mindset, you have to feed your mind things that strengthen it, not weaken it.
Content Worth Avoiding
If you want to grow, you must be willing to look at ideas with which you disagree, and that is also valuable. But there are categories of content that deserve none of your time or attention. Consuming this content can disempower you and infect you with weak ideas and beliefs.
- Designed to Divide: Some people and organizations create content designed to divide you from others. This content paints a group of people as being different in some way that splits people into “us” versus a “them.” It suggests there is a conflict that isn’t there or isn’t nearly what they would have you believe. Much political content falls into this category. There is no value in ingesting anything designed to convince you that people you don’t know and have never met are dangerous and harmful to you. This form of fear of others weakens your mindset.
- Provided to Outrage: You need to look no further than clickbait headlines to find words and images designed to cause you to be outraged. There are bad people who do wrong and stupid things. Some people suffer from poor decisions that happen to have been recorded in pictures or videos that captured the moment. Human beings are fascinated by what other humans do, and so we look. This content can convince you that the world is full of bad people and that bad things are happening all around you. While bad things happen, there is much more good than bad.
- Sent to Sensationalize: Much of the content that shows up in your world sensationalizes rather than educates or informs. Some material is created to provoke you by leaving out facts and context. There is no commitment to the truth or accuracy of the story or information. There is no value in this content because it avoids the truth to garner your attention.
If you feed your mind fear, the world will be a scary place. If you ingest things that are negative, pessimistic, divisive, your mind will believe that this is the world you inhabit. These things weaken your mind, and you should eliminate them from your mind’s diet.
Content Worth Consuming
You need a careful diet of content that improves and strengthens your mindset. The intention of the content you consume is a large part of how you know whether or not it is useful to you. Is the purpose to somehow improve you? This is what you should feed your mind.
- The Expansional: At the beginning of this post, I noted that growth comes from ideas with which you disagree. Some ideas expand your mind, allowing you to see your world through a different lens. Expansional ideas will challenge you because they challenge what you believe, conflicting with your confirmation bias, your mind’s default preference to look at things you already believe to be true. There are not many things more valuable to your mindset than your ability to take other perspectives, looking at the world from a different view.
- Assembled to Inspire: There is a reason we love inspirational stories and all the derivative content of this flavor. It reminds us that part of us is made up of the same spirit you find in the stories of people who, in some way, beat insuperable odds and insurmountable obstacles. There is a category of people who believe this content is simply saccharin and of little value. What you believe about what you are capable of sets your self-imposed limits, and anything that removes or expands those limits improves your mindset.
- Made to Motivate: Reading, watching, and listening to content that compels you to take action is beneficial to your belief system. The results you want are always on the other side of new beliefs and actions. Motivational content provides a certain pressure to take action. If something moves you, your increased willingness to act—and act now—is a positive outcome. Motivation is a mindset, and if you are going to be infected by ideas anyway, you might as well be infected with ideas that compel positive action.
- Enabling Empowerment: You are more powerful than you may know. You can be more, do more, have more, and contribute more. Because the content you should avoid does so much damage to your mindset, you may not recognize your power. When you consume ideas that help you realize your personal power to improve yourself and your world, the belief that you can make a positive difference not only changes your results, it also changes the very direction of your life.
- Educational: When you read, listen, and watch content that is designed to educate you, you are absorbing material that provides greater knowledge or skill in some areas. You now have more access to more educational content than has ever been available for no cost other than the time it takes to search and consume it. Almost everything you need to know to succeed in whatever endeavor you choose is already known. You strengthen your mindset by learning how things work and how to create the outcomes you want in your life effectively. Knowledge builds a willingness to try something new, which leads to competence, which provides confidence.
If you want to build a powerful an empowered mindset, stay vigilant about what you prevent from infecting you, and intentional about what you ingest.
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Filed under: Mindset